Pre-stretching strings?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by nvottennis, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    I know that for gut, you should prestretch it for better performance or the like.. Is there a proper method of doing this? Also, is it true for polys?
     
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  2. airman88

    airman88 Semi-Pro

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    Pre-stretching polys seems to remove some coil memory and help tension maintenance a tad bit. There are youtube videos showing how to do it, it is simple.
     
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  3. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    NEVER pre-stretch polys....
     
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  4. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    reason being ...
     
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  5. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    SO what's the verdict?
     
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  6. stevenwags987

    stevenwags987 Rookie

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    Pre-streching ploys will get out the coil memory, thats really about all....

    Ive never noticed any better in tension maintenance but if your using a drop weight stringer, the stringing job is a tade easier when u prestrech.

    I always prestrech
     
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  7. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    Prestretching for polys can be described as accelerated aging. They should not be prestretched and they should be stretched only once. Just a characteristic of a poly as a material.
     
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  8. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    To be honest, I don't know which opposing stories to believe. If what Bob says is true and I do prestretch, I'd hate to simply decrease the string's life.
     
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  9. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    Don't believe anyone, just try it and see for yourself :)
     
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  10. stevenwags987

    stevenwags987 Rookie

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    haha fair enough....

    Ive been prestreching latley and have not found that my polys go dead any quicker....

    But I agree with what was said above
     
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  11. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    I'd love to, but I dont exactly have the time or money to experiment at the moment. Season is coming up soon, so I've got to lock down on specifics (besides playtests of course)
     
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  12. singnflip4life

    singnflip4life New User

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    Prestretching poly's will kill them.

    Syn guts, multis, and nat guts benfit from prestretching because it aligns the fibers, whereas polys are like plastic wrap. Once you stretch them, dont drop the tension more than you have to or it dies and becomes rather useless.
     
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  13. tjwalker097

    tjwalker097 New User

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    Do not prestretch poly's, unless you like to play with dead strings.
     
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  14. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    You could always write, or call, the manufacturer. I don't think any manufacturer recommends prestretching any more, even the natural gut makers.
     
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  15. nvottennis

    nvottennis Semi-Pro

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    I could but I dont have the time to wait 2 weeks for a response, which is what happened with practically every company that I've tried to contact. Even tw recently (normally not, but for some reason it has been)
     
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  16. Purist

    Purist New User

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    OK guys. There really are people that know the answer to this and are experts (not that I'm the expert). Polys have good tension maintenance when pulled at the desired tension for 6 to 8 seconds. You can think of this as a pre-stretch, but the important distinction is that you NEVER want to pre-stretch ANY string ABOVE the desired tension. A drop weight is best for this followed by a constant pull stringer. This is especially critical for polys. Think of string like the spring in a ball point pen. If you pull too hard beyond it's natural elasticity, all elasticity is nearly gone.

    Basically, if your desired tension is 53 pounds, pull at 53 pounds for 6 to 8 seconds - I prefer about 8. You'll find that long term tension maintenance is SO much better. I use racquetTune to test tension.

    Since I started doing this poly maintains tension much better and actually feels more lively. I've also been stringing like this with all strings. I can now string about 3 to 5 pounds looser as the strings lose less tension over time, and the few people that I string for have noticed the difference in feel.

    Google "stringing questions for jay cee oracle" . Start at the first post. You may learn more about stringing in that thread than you've ever known. I did.
     
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  17. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    So so true.............

    This is so true and if you look into it further you will find it's actually elasticity vs resiliency ( or, the ability of a string to stretch vs the ability for a string to recover it's original state). Poly/co-poly strings have very low elasticity and resiliency, so the bolded statement above is critical. Once you have exceeded the max elasticity, resiliency is gone and the string is dead before you hit the first ball. Great analogy Purist.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
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  18. Purist

    Purist New User

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    I have to give credit for that analogy to John Elliot, though.

    And I'm Glad to see that there are other people willing to listen and learn, even after having strung hundreds or thousands of rackets (I do mean learn new things, not learn from me ;)

    Let me quote another person and a great analogy.

    "I now understand that I do not have 35 years of stringing experience; I have one year of experience repeated 35 times."

    THIS is far closer to how most people string, LOL. And the man that said this was apparently a former tour player.

    PS: I see that you posted in that thread so you recognize both of these quotes.
     
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  19. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Unless you are stringing on a lockout machine that allows you to bring the tensioning jaws right up to the frame edge for every pull, stretching poly only once is not an option. Every time you pull tension on a machine with a fixed tension head the length of string between the edge of the frame and the tension head is getting an unintentional pre-stretch at reference tension. So, for all intents and purposes, the only strings in your racquet that will have only been stretched once are the 2 center mains and your first cross if you string 2 piece.
     
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  20. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    JC.............

    I have studied with JC for the last 3 years and have just scratched the surface of his knowledge of poly string. Like he also often says, it's not the destination but the journey that matters; always learning. Have fun :)

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
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  21. manongpatrick

    manongpatrick New User

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    From working with racquet stringing, I have learned that prestretching strings takes the life expectancy out of them. Some people like them but they do not last long. Some of the pros who come in the shop usually asks for prestretches, the only reason they do is cuz they have a whole bunch of racquets that they dont even worry about string's life expectancy. Other strings I would prestretch would be natural gut.
    My personal preference is to not prestretch them. I have never used prestretching for my own racquets and I do not want to start.
     
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  22. airman88

    airman88 Semi-Pro

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    What about double pulling instead of prestretching?
     
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  23. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    know know..............

    This has been tried many times but when you double pull you do not get a uniform prestretch. Some electronic constant pull machines have this feature but it's still not uniform and may produce variances in the string bed.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #23
  24. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Does it apply for gut ?

    Why prestreching is OK for gut ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
    #24
  25. Purist

    Purist New User

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    define pre-stretch

    I think one of the reason some people don't like pre-stretching is that they've played with strings that were pre-stretched in the old-school way - someone wrapped it around something and used their body weight. HOW one pre-stretches makes a huge difference.

    Pre-stretching by letting a drop weight stringer pull a string at reference tension for a few extra seconds is not even remotely the same (and shouldn't be called the same thing) as the way that my tennis coach taught me to pre-stretch 25 years ago: wrap the string around the light pole outside and lean back. How many pounds was I pulling? Could be anywhere from 50 to 200 pounds? Talk about a string being dead before you ever hit a ball. Perhaps that partly explains why I had horrific pain in my elbow for 80% of my tennis playing life.

    On a side note, my elbow problems were so bad often after retiring from a match I had to shake hands with my left hand (and this is even being 'hopped-up' on 8 Advil). I mention this only because my issues seem to be GONE now after using gut in the mains with a soft poly cross. I'm actually able to truly enjoy tennis again, perhaps for the first time since 1987 (literally - I'm 39 now).
     
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  26. Consolation

    Consolation Rookie

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    Gut gets its elasticity from cross-linked collagen fibers. When you stretch it, as long as you don't break it, it will return to near its original position. No synthetic material has been developed that can match this ability.

    Synthetics (syn guts, multifiliments, and polys) rely on weakly bonded, long molecules that are arranged irregularly. The elasticity is dependent on the irregular arrangement of the molecules themselves. Each time they stretch the molecules get straightened and organized a little. In time they become much more ordered, and thus lose their elasticity. How long that takes depends on how strongly the material resists this straightening, with poly being the worst.
     
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